The World's Worst Suicide Bombers?
Though attacks are getting more frequent, Williams found that more than four out of every 10 attempted suicide bombings in Afghanistan kills only the attacker. "Such unusual bomber-to-victim death statistics are, of course, heartening both for coalition troops — who have described the Afghan suicide bombers as 'amateurs' — and for the Afghan people, who are usually the victims of the clumsy bombings," writes Williams.
Why the high failure rate? One reason, Williams suggests, is the Pashtun social code of Pashtunwali, which values "acts of martial valor" and revenge. Driven by this code Afghan suicide bombers are more likely to go after hard military targets rather than softer targets such as markets or restaurants as happens in Iraq. The deadliest bombings in Afghanistan over the past two years have been the work of Arabs, not Afghans.